Tag Archives: Hosting

RocketPress Hosting Review

I like to review WordPress hosting because a) they’re topical and interesting to our readers and b) they tend to focus on the needs of WordPress users over those of the general population.  Web hosting providers are a dime a dozen.  Especially when you consider reseller accounts.  Hell, I’ve got a reseller package that more than pays for my hosting costs.  But when it comes down to the nitty gritty details, there are only a handful of super high quality hosts out there.  RocketPress is one of those hosts.

Cost

Let’s get to the first thing on your mind, how does it compare in cost?  The cheapest plan, if paid annually, is $3.95 per month.  That’s not a lot of money, as long as you can front the $47.40 once every year.  If you want to pay monthly, the cheapest plan is $6.95.

Platform

RocketPress is using Cpanel combined with a piece of software called WHM (Web Host Manager).  Both of which are very stable, regularly supported frameworks.  Cpanel is a ubiquitous software package that many many web hosts use.

RocketPress is hosted on servers managed by a company called FDC Servers.  They DO NOT offer reseller hosting which is a good thing for you.  This means RocketPress has invested in their hardware and co-located with a company who makes their business managing server farms.  This is a very smart move.  Picture this: a business that buys and manages all their own hardware sounds great.  Now picture this “business” in someone’s garage, with a $400 Windows desktop acting as a “server”.  It’s supervised when this person is home, but when they’re away, anything could happen.  Outsourcing server management seems like a pretty sweet deal now doesn’t it?

Support

They offer Live Chat which is a great resource.  Although they weren’t online while writing this review, there is also a toll-free phone number which says a lot about this company and their intentions to be there for you when needed.

Security and Reliability

Their servers are backed up nightly, so you can trust your data can be restored if something goes wrong.  RocketPress claims to have never been hacked, ever.  That’s 17 years of zero-tolerance.  They claim to never overload their servers but do not back that up with numbers which, to be fair, is hard to quantify.  Hopefully, they follow through on this expectation and their hosting accounts are sound, solid and secure.

WordPress Specific

RocketPress claims to have been built by WordPress coding experts with significant IT security experience.  They will automatically install WordPress on each new hosting account within 10 seconds.  I’m not sure that’s necessary, but it’s a nice feature if you want this hosting account for a very specific website.  The hosting plans are designed to support WordPress installs, and RocketPress offers free WordPress consulting and advice.  Because RocketPress runs Cpanel, it supports Fantastico, which offers two-minute WordPress installations without any database work.

Extras

RocketPress will transfer your existing WordPress site for free which is a really nice perk if you only run one WordPress site.  There’s no mention of how many websites they will migrate.

Each new account gets a free domain.  That’s worth $10/year so it’s not like you’re getting a primo parking spot or anything, but every little bit counts.

Summary

We tried to be both honest and fair in this review of RocketPress.  Whichever host you choose, consider how it will meet your specific needs, and try to ignore flashy sales and gimmicks.  There are so many web hosts out there, you can be a very discerning customer.  If you love WordPress as much as we do, you’ll want to choose a web host that specializes in supporting the most powerful blogging platform on earth.

Disclosure: Pingable was not paid to write this review, however we are part of their affiliate network, clicking through and signing up for an account will result in a kickback for us.

WordPress Hosting Guide

There is a lot to consider when looking for WordPress hosting for your site.  Of course, you don’t have to self-host your site as outlined in this post on How to Install WordPress.  If you do choose to self-hosted WordPress Hosting, you’ll need a hosting provider.  However, not all hosts are created equal and there are a number of parameters that need to be considered. WordPress.org has a hosting suggestion page which currently includes:

If you choose to look further than the WordPress sponsored hosting partners, use the following criteria to make your selection.

Meet the basic server requirements

Many hosts meet the minimum requirements for hosting WordPress, but not all.  They include:

  • PHP version 4.3 or greater although version 5.2 is recommended
  • MySQL version 4.1.2 or greater although version 5.2 is recommended
  • Mod_rewrite Apache module
  • A Linux based platform with either Apache or NGINX

The official WordPress Hostingrequirements page suggests sending an email to hosts you are considering working with to make sure they meet the requirements.

That’s all WordPress.org has to say.  We have more suggestions when searching for a host.

Excellent Support

  • Peruse the forums and see what kind of support is given.  Dead threads and complaining customers is a big red flag.
  • Look for 24/7 support, an indication the host is dedicated to the business they’re in.
  • Live chat support is a big help and suggests the host is there to help and backs up their service
  • Give them a test.  Send a pre-sales support question – maybe asking how their servers meet the WordPress hosting requirements and note the response time and tone of their response.

Site design

We don’t mean to be design snobs, but if a web host can’t even manage their own website, how can they be expected to support you in managing your own?

Look closely

Does the web host have advertisements, unrelated text links or skeezy operations meant to build links but not necessarily customers?  These are all signs of a host that is not operating ethically.

Hosting other WordPress sites

Look at your favorite WordPress powered blogs and use this tool to find out who’s hosting them.

Look for these key features

  • They offer one-click WordPress installation like Fantastico
  • They offer unlimited MySQL databases (for running lots of WordPress sites)
  • They support WordPressMu (just ask them)
  • They support AJAX

Based on everything, we recommend these hosts in addition to the ones listed above:

Our Recommended WordPress Hosting Options

Additional resources:

Image credit: Verseone.com

Blogging Mistakes to avoid

David Airey has written an article called Top 7 blog mistakes to avoid. I think there are some key points here that are very important for beginning blogger’s.

  • Not using a self-hosted blog

Sure if the point of your blog is to communicate to your friends and family what you have been doing while over seas, or to show photos of your pet dog Oswald then a WordPress.com or blogger hosted blogs will do the trick nicely. But if you are serious about your blog and are more interested in developing a publishing platform or brand you need your own domain. The typical start up costs involve: $10 – $14 US for a domain, $6.95 – $10 a month for a basic web host, Blue host or Dream host are both good options for starting out.

  • Expecting people to visit

I guess I never really just expected people to visit my blog when I started out. In fact, when I first started blogging using blogger about 18 months ago my main issue with the whole idea was that I thought it was all kind of silly because I thought no one would visit. Of course my attitude has some what evolved since then. I do feel new blogger’s have to be realistic about visitors though. If you are starting a new blog on a new domain no one else knows about it. It is up to you to get the word around. Post good articles to social media and bookmarking sites, leave comments on other blogs, join communities like Bumpzee.

  • Location of blog on web server

Where is your blog installed? In the root directory i.e. www.pingable.org or in a separate folder www.pingable.org/blog/. There are different thoughts on what is the best location, but I feel as long as the only purpose of the site is to blog, then your blog should be in your root directory. If you are a business or if there is other purposes of your web site, then use a directory called blog. But what ever you decide on, don’t make the mistake of moving all your files after you are established. It will mess with your page rank, which will cost you traffic.

  • Not linking to others

It is important to link to other bloggers, and send track backs to them. It lets them know you are writing about them, and it may even give you a link back in their comments section. This is good for promoting your blog, and it is also good for developing relationships with other bloggers.

  • Time time time

I guess when you put all the elements of successful blogging together (Posting regularly, commenting on other blogs regularly, reading other blogs regularly, working on design, working on SEO, etc etc) It can really eat up time. You need to be realistic about how much you can achieve if you only have half an hour a day to blog.

I hope this posts was an interesting read, feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

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